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China Strengthens Quality Control on Food Exports
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The Chinese government is determined to step up fight to prevent substandard foodstuffs from going overseas, said a white paper issued here on Friday.

Over the years, China has been promoting the quality and safety level of exported food and satisfy numerous Chinese and foreign customers with high-quality, delicious and inexpensive foodstuffs, said the white paper released by the Information Office of China's State Council.

"The qualification rate of exported Chinese food products has been over 99 percent for many years," said the 29-page white paper on the country's food safety.

This is due to a quality control system that covers all major food exports of the country, especially high-risk foodstuffs such as meat, aquatic products and vegetables, it said.

"Yet, there are still a tiny number of enterprises that disregard the law, regulations and standards of China and importing countries and, by deception or fraud, avoid supervision by the inspection and quarantine authorities, or export food by improper channels," it said.

"Consequently, some adulterated, counterfeit or shoddy foodstuffs have found their way from China into foreign markets."

As an important way to guarantee the country's food exports, the system has a set of standards applying to both food companies and farming bases, covering the whole process of food production and circulation.

Chinese quarantine authorities have adopted a registration system for farming bases that supply raw materials for food exports. So far, 6,031 animal farms and 380,000 hectares of farmland have been registered with the authorities, with their name list publicized on the official website.

Manufacturers of food exports also have to register with hygienic authorities and receive supervision of quarantine authorities on a regular basis. The quarantine authorities also dispatch resident inspectors to large-scale manufacturers of high-risk products such as meat. Currently, 12,714 food manufacturers have been registered with hygienic authorities.

The government has also developed a credit system for food exporting enterprises. Companies with serious quality problems or cheating on quality or safety will be named and shamed on the Internet. So far, 55 companies have been put on the blacklist.

China exported 24 million tons of foodstuffs in 2006, worth 26.7 billion U.S. dollars. The largest buyers were Japan, the United States, Korea, Russia, Germany and Malaysia.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2007)

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